The Vories family lives on a volatile income — not knowing how much each paycheck will contain month-to-month.
Watch the video and say whether the statements below are true or false.
1. The Vories have to pay the electricty bill on the 8th of each month.
2. The Vories have been unemployed for a long time.
3. The Vories don't own a car.
4. The Brighton Center is a charity.
5. The Vories have ups and downs in their day-to-day.
6. The Vories spend around five hundred dollars a month in medications.
7. They didn't buy their son basketball shoes because they had no money.
I just look at what’s the day that it is due, what’s the mercy day, what’s the actual day that I have to pay this bill by. I don’t even look at it month to month. The electric bill is due like the 8th but I can pay it on the 25th, you know when we’re paying bills this Monday, and that’s one of the bills I’m gonna be paying.
The Vories family is one many in America that lives on a valid all income. Like thousands who rely on seasonal or contract work, money comes in each week but it’s rarely the same amount. Financial planning becomes about the near future, about paying the bills when, not if the paychecks stop. Erica works full time at the IRS as the family’s primary source of income. Her husband Alex was laid off last year from Fidelity Call Center and can only find seasonal work. His last contract ended right before Thanksgiving, so Alex returns to an employer he’d had in high school, The Rosa’s Pizza.
Hopefully the Rosa’s is enough to keep us going. An accident and a breakdown left the family carless, so Alex borrows his father’s car to deliver pizzas at night. Every week is a delicate balancing act of time, money and resources.
We don’t have a savings account or anything like that. And we have one, but there’s no money in there.
And we have like 401k’s at our work where we can put it. I have never been able to put in because…
I had to cash mine out from Fidelity to pay bills.
Hey, Josh, I brought food to eat? Are you hungry?
A little bit of income, some odd jobs, help from parents, the Vories are hardly the only family in this position. A local non-profit, the Brighton Center, provided emergency help to the Vories and over 6800 households last year. Nearly 71% of those families had income.
I started praying and asking the Lord, Lord, you know, will you give me an idea to write a play? It’s a way to tell people what I’ve been through without having the opportunity to tell somebody one on one.
And when the housing bubble came down it just crashed everything I had. I lost my job, my house.
Before that bad stuff happened to you, why would you believe all the Jesus stuff?
We will have one good, two weeks and we’ll be like okay we know these two weeks it’s going to be great but we won’t even know in advance we’ll be okay. But next two weeks, nothing.
I don’t have nothing right here, right now.
It will be hard to go to the grocery store and say, okay I only have, you know, 20 to 30 dollars to spend and I have to make it so that four of us can eat.
No, no ice-cream.
Yes! Ice-cream! I don’t want anything else.
They’ll ask for stuff all the time. ‘Can we go get an ice-cream’, and we have to be… the parents let’s say, guys you don’t understand, we just don’t have money.
Family health issues further complicate things. Alex has diabetes, Erika fibromyalgia, their oldest kid has severe ADHD and their youngest, Josh, has mild autism. It costs the family a couple hundred dollars monthly in medications alone. At time the Vories borrow ahead of their next pay cheque at a steep interest rate just to make minimum payments.
You see how things are going up and it’s like how am I gonna be able to give them a meal that is going to nurture them because, you know, cereal is not going to cut it.
I’m tired too, pal.
I was gonna pay some bills today and our son needed some basketball shoes and grandma gave us some money to buy some, but we didn’t have the chance to cash the cheque, so we took it out of the account and then we’re not going to put the money until tomorrow, and tomorrow is like the last day to pay the electric bill, so, oh thank God it ain’t raining, that’s what stinks about one car, if it’s pouring rain we are going to get soaked.
I have this tendency to say to her ‘I think we are almost there, I think we are almost there’ and then we just don’t get there.
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